The Blueprint: A Novel (Hardcover)
The Blueprint takes us to a place that is frightening and, yet, not outside the realm of possibility. In an alternative United States, The Blueprint follows Solenne Bonet, a Black woman, in world where women have been relegated to chattel conditions and Black women in particular live lives as concubines in a system that mirrors US History in the South. Interwoven with the story of her ancestor Henriette, Solenne walks a narrow line between then and now and tries to find a space to survive and possible even thrive.— Britney H.
The Blueprint is a modern dystopia reflecting many of the political policies of today run out to their farthest end and it is not a great place to be, especially if you are a woman and especially more so if you are a woman of color. The story of Solene Bonet is one of lost innocence, limited option, and a brave woman who is willing to fight within a system built to beat her down. The underlying sense of helplessness in the story is overlayed with a fighting spirit that kept me turning the page.— Rebecca G
“The Blueprint is an astounding work, an unflinching portrait of misogyny and racism in a speculative world terrifyingly close to our own. Rae Giana Rashad chronicles the generational ghosts of womanhood, and how we understand ourselves through the stories of those we come from, in a way I’ve never read before. A remarkable new talent, and a timeless literary voice.”—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push
In the vein of Octavia E. Butler and Margaret Atwood, a harrowing novel set in an alternate United States—a world of injustice and bondage in which a young Black woman becomes the concubine of a powerful white government official and must face the dangerous consequences.
Solenne Bonet lives in Texas where choice no longer exists. An algorithm determines a Black woman’s occupation, spouse, and residence. Solenne finds solace in penning the biography of Henriette, an ancestor who’d been an enslaved concubine to a wealthy planter in 1800s Louisiana. But history repeats itself when Solenne, lonely and naïve, finds herself entangled with Bastien Martin, a high-ranking government official. Solenne finds the psychological bond unbearable, so she considers alternatives. With Henriette as her guide, she must decide whether and how to leave behind all she knows.
Inspired by the lives of enslaved concubines to U.S. politicians and planters, The Blueprint unfolds over dual timelines to explore bodily autonomy, hypocrisy, and power imbalances through the lens of the nation’s most unprotected: a Black girl.
About the Author
Rae Giana Rashad holds an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington. Born and raised in Texas with roots in Louisiana, her writing is infused with southern influences and Black history. She lives in the Dallas area with her husband and three children.
"Ambitious in its themes." — New York Times Book Review
"The Blueprint is an astounding work, an unflinching portrait of misogyny and racism in a speculative world terrifyingly close to our own. Rae Giana Rashad chronicles the generational ghosts of womanhood, and how we understand ourselves through the stories of those we come from, in a way I’ve never read before. A remarkable new talent, and a timeless literary voice." — Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push
"A book in an intense, boundary-pushing conversation with The Handmaid’s Tale . . . . Inventive, ferocious, and laser-focused, The Blueprint promises to skewer the hypocrisies that already punctuate our reality." — Elle
“A consuming debut, a provocative and worthy mash-up of historical and speculative fiction.” — Publishers Weekly
"Rashad’s fantastic debut evokes familiar history, such as Sally Hemings’ forced relationship with Thomas Jefferson, yet is also wholly new, weaving together vividly imagined characters in Solenne and Henriette and deftly moving through multiple time periods while capturing Solenne’s haunted yet strong voice . . . . Horrifying, captivating, and full of urgency." — Kirkus Reviews
"Masterful . . . . Filled with themes such as regret, rebellion, tyranny, and courage, The Blueprint is a compelling read." — Christian Science Monitor
"This one held me captive for two days." — LaToya Watkins, National Book Award nominee for Holler, Child